Industry News: Volume 3 Issue 19

PRESS RELEASE: AscellaHealth Acknowledges National Arthritis Awareness Month, Enables Health Plans and Employers to Lower Cost, Improve Outcomes with Specialty Pharmacy Solutions

May is time to learn the facts, understand the condition and know help is available

May 23, 2019 09:00 AM EST – BERWYN, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In recognition of May as National Arthritis Awareness MonthAscellaHealth (Ascella), a national Pharmacy Benefit Management (PBM) serving commercial, Medicare and Medicaid segments, shines light on a disease that impacts more than 50 million Americans, making it the number one cause of disability in the nation. To help health plans, employer groups and unions overcome the complexity and collaboration needed for effective management of arthritis, Ascella’s Clinical and Educational Programs educate members on their prescribed therapy at the outset, assisting with high deductible/co-insurance costs by utilizing financial assistance programs and partnering with physicians and pharmacists throughout the member’s course of treatment.

 “Our high-touch model includes clinical interventions, adherence counseling, psychosocial assessment, integrated nursing staff, refill reminders and delivery coordination as part of Ascella’s innovative specialty pharmacy strategy,” says Dea Belazi, president and CEO, AscellaHealth. “We focus on improving outcomes and care coordination for members with arthritis and offer discounted pricing as part of the considerable value we create, especially in the high cost of the specialty drugs used in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.”

The pain, stiffness and joint damage of arthritis leads to disability and costs of more than $156 billion annually in lost wages and medical expenses. Ascella’s program is available on a standalone basis, or as part of a full-service pharmacy benefit management option that includes specialty drug management, formulary management services/rebates, competitive pricing and innovative discounting, drug utilization review, case management services/therapy management, clinical review/prior authorization, pharmacy and therapeutic management committee, flexible claims adjudication system, drug information and news reporting.

Belazi adds, “This May we plan to spread the word about the impact of arthritis as we continue to create custom benefit designs that help stakeholders maximize their benefit plans and reduce the high costs of managing arthritis among members.”

About AscellaHealth

AscellaHealth, a national PBM serving commercial, Medicare and Medicaid segments offers high quality prescription drug management services along with other customizable services, such as carved-out specialty pharmacy services and cost-savings discount programs through its unique and proprietary service that extends discounts on prescription medications to customers more than any other PBM in the industry. Visit


Nicole Dufour
CPR Communications
[email protected]
201.641.1911 x 54

CMS announces delay of CAR T-cell national coverage determination

By Tina Reed –While the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has said it plans to cover what’s best known as CAR T-cell therapy for cancer patients, that determination is going to take a little longer than planned.

On Friday, CMS announced a delay in its final national coverage determination for chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy, in which oncologists use a patient’s own immune system to attack a tumor. 

CMS did not give a reason for the delay, simply saying in a statement: “CMS will not be issuing a final National Coverage Determination on CAR T-cell therapy for cancer today, but a decision is forthcoming.”

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.

Facebook release disease prevention maps to fight flu, malaria outbreaks – Using a combination of artificial intelligence, satellite imagery and publicly available census information, Facebook has created three types of maps to improve responses to disease outbreaks, available for use by health organizations around the world beginning May 20.

The movement, population density and network coverage maps are all high-resolution depictions of communities’ access to health resources. The trio of maps can be used, respectively, to predict where outbreaks of diseases like malaria, cholera and the flu will arise next, help organizations decide where to allocate resources and determine whether these intended beneficiaries can be reached with telehealth and other digital solutions.

To view the original article in its entirety, click here.